Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Lesbians Seeking Info on Nice Communities to Live In ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Subject: Lesbians Seeking Info on Nice Communities to Live In
Category: Relationships and Society > Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual
Asked by: ronni-ga
List Price: $45.00
Posted: 23 Aug 2003 18:48 PDT
Expires: 22 Sep 2003 18:48 PDT
Question ID: 248073
A friend and I are ~40yo youthful lesbians. We would like to get
information on the best cities/towns to live in that might provide the

1) An organized lesbian community, which would include places to go
and things to do, other than consuming alcohol at a bar, where we
could meet other lesbians and become involved in the community
quickly. (An overly small community might not be as open to

2) The option of living at least somewhat rurally, so that you had
green trees and grass around you. It would be OK if it were a
30-minute drive to an "organized" community/city. Also, this rural
atmosphere would need to provide space for cats to run free without
getting hit by cars (i.e., avoidance of major roads) and wilderness
space for walks with dogs.

3) Water nearby would be important (streams, ponds, lakes, ocean,
etc.). "Nearby" could be a little bit of a drive as well, just
accessible for trips.

4) Reasonable acceptance in the area or in a nearby city/town, where
we could go out with other lesbians and not feel overly concerned
about our welfare.

5) Info about, or links to, the gun possession laws in the respective
state would be appreciated. We believe in owning and possibly carrying
handguns, and don't want to be extremely limited in that arena.

6) An educated community, rather than a place where it is difficult to
find people speaking college-level English, would be preferred.  Thus,
if there are universities nearby, or a medical or technological "hub,"
that would be important.

7) As far as the cost of living goes, a lower cost of living would be
preferable than that found in NYC, L.A., Boston, etc.  However, if we
were able to live rurally and commute to a larger city, I would assume
the cost of living for rent or home purchase in a rural area would be
better. The more info you can provide on that, the better, or perhaps
links to that info.

Hope this wasn't too detailed, just tried to anticipate the major
issues. We work from home, via computer on a national level, so the
job market is not immensely important.  But, an academic community
somewhere in the
vicinity would be very helpful.  I often need to do research in
scientific or medical journals that could only be found at a
university library or high-level public library.

Thanks in advance,

Clarification of Question by ronni-ga on 23 Aug 2003 19:45 PDT
I do not want to live in PA, NY, MA, CT, RI, NH, VT, or ME (the upper
northeast, essentially).

Cities I have some interest in, but don't know much about, include:
Baltimore, MD; Milwaukee vs. Madison vs. LaCrosse, WI; Columbus (vs.
Toledo & Cleveland), OH; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; St. Louis, MO; New
Orleans, LA; Traverse City, MI; Missoula, MT; Phoenix, AZ;
Bloomington, IN.

I am very interested in the "triangle" area of NC (Raleigh, Durham,
?), but have not found much of anything written about it.  Friends
have told me that the lesbian community is strong in a certain area
there, but I can't recall where.  Also, it is a great
academic/technological hub.

An informative response will warrant an excellent tip.  :0)  

Thank you!
Subject: Re: Lesbians Seeking Info on Nice Communities to Live In
Answered By: nancylynn-ga on 25 Aug 2003 02:50 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello ronni-ga:

I have researched all the towns you named in your clarification:

"Baltimore, MD; Milwaukee vs. Madison vs. LaCrosse, WI; Columbus (vs.
Toledo & Cleveland), OH; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; St. Louis, MO; New
Orleans, LA; Traverse City, MI; Missoula, MT; Phoenix, AZ;
Bloomington, IN . . . the triangle" area of NC (Raleigh, Durham,?) [I
believe you meant Chapel Hill, in conjunction with the other two
towns. As I understand it, that geographic area encompasses Research
Triangle Park] . . . ."according to as much of your stated criteria as
I could find.

I also located gay newspapers and magazines, and general newspapers,
for nearly all the towns you cited. Scanning those will give you and
your partner a clear idea of just how tolerant or intolerant that
city's residents are toward gays; and give you an idea of how strong
the local gay and lesbian communities are or aren't. Just as
important, local newspapers can give you a solid idea of what these
communities are like in their totality.

First, some general suggestions:

*Get a good atlas and search for towns within about a 30-mile radius
of the larger towns and cities that interest you. Then type the name
of each town into a search engine. I've given some details about some
of the neighboring counties for many of the cities you're considering,
but I couldn't possibly go through all of them. So, type in the name
of a county into a search engine and see what you come up with.

* Repeat the process, if you like, with town names. Nearly every
American town (even small ones) now has a Web site with an FAQ
regarding cost of living and quality of life. Some sites have photos
of the town that will give you a good idea of how rural the town is or
isn't. These sites tend to put a positive spin on everything, so also
try searching the town under "Groups" and even "News," to get a more
balanced overview of the town, once you start winnowing your choices.

*If you're having trouble finding photos of various towns, type in the
name of the county or town along with "real estate" in a search
engine. That should bring up agencies in those locales, and many
agencies' sites have photos of homes for sale. These photos will give
you a good idea what these towns look like.

*The U.S, Census Bureau: As long as you have the atlas out, go to:
and look for a box at the right, almost halfway down. Click on the
state you want, and that will bring up a list of counties and cities
that you can click for detailed information. The Census' profiles will
give you breakdowns according to population percentage that holds
college degrees, and median salaries and housing costs.

*I've given you links for newspapers and/or magazines for every town
that interests you. Checking the classifieds will give you a good idea
of rent and housing prices. Checking "Community Calendar" type of
departments will tell you what they do for fun around here. At each
newspaper, try searching "gay" or "lesbian" for articles pertaining to
LGBT issues or events in that city.

*The Sustainable Communities Network:
is searchable, and can give you some great details regarding the towns
that interest you. If you do get a match (and you won't some of the
time), it's likely to pertain to an overlooked preservation issue, or
an emerging problem related to over-development, in that specific town

Here are the complete results of my research:


Baltimore appears to have a very large gay population. According to
this article, "Marketing to gays, lesbians lucrative," by Jonathan
Cribbs in the 7/7/03 edition of the Baltimore Business Journal:
"Baltimore's gay and lesbian population, however, is substantial and
entirely marketable, several public policy and advertising experts
said. According to research by the Urban Institute, a Washington,
D.C.-based nonpartisan public policy think tank, Charm City's
[Baltimore] gay and lesbian population could be up to 50 percent
larger than the national average":

For events, groups, and an idea of the general atmosphere for LGBT
community in Baltimore:

"The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center of
Baltimore & Central Maryland":
is affiliated with a number of programs, including "Among Sisters" and
"Baltimore Adventurers":

You can also access GAY LIFE magazine (serves the "Maryland LGBT
Community) at:

There's also the Baltimore Alternative at:
(I couldn't get the site to load, but the link doesn't seem to be
dead, so try it.)
has links to sites of various interests, such as a volleyball team,
and gay activist groups.

Baltimore even has a multi-denominational church, the Metropolitan
Community Church:  
that offers spiritual succor to a LGBT congregation.

Find links to more LGBT groups and activities in Baltimore at:
including a men's and women's choral group, and the First Fridays
Potluck Supper LGBT get-together.

Rural/ Suburban Areas Near Baltimore:

for a list of reports on what residents of Maryland are doing to
preserve small towns and quality of life.

This report:
about several Maryland waterfront towns, may be of special interest to
you, as you prefer to live near water.

Scrolling down, you'll see links to several port towns, including
Colmar Manor, which will link you to:
and under "Facts At A Glance":
you'll find a chart that includes average "home values: $86,400;
median rent is $513."

"Looking for info on Baltimore" is an informative 2001 thread on a
message board at Homesteading Today:
Scroll through the posts for information on cost of living, and the
ambience, of rural areas around Baltimore; these are posts from people
who either lived in that region or who were contemplating moving

Find lots of information about Baltimore area rural and suburban
development and preservation at The Baltimore Regional Partnership:
and its newsletter:

Learn about Carroll County, Md, at:

Learn about Anne Arundel County, much of which borders the Chesapeake
Bay, at the Citizens Information Center:

See Harford County, Md, north of Baltimore:

See Howard County, Md., at:

Typing "Baltimore County" will bring up numerous links.

Take a virtual tour of many Maryland towns at:

No problem finding waterways in Baltimore! It's home to a much-lauded
waterfront, and numerous, charming small towns can be found all along
the Chesapeake Bay.

The 1980s refurbishing of  Baltimore Harbor has received international
acclaim. In addition to restaurants and night spots, lots of community
activities are held there. See:

There are many towns located along the Chesapeake. (Many of them are
in Anne Arundel County, as noted above.) Try typing "Chesapeake towns
Maryland" or "seaside towns Maryland" into to find some
great destinations for short trips; picturesque places to spend a
weekend afternoon

Johns Hopkins is the most famous school in Baltimore. For a complete
list of Baltimore colleges, see:

Maryland Gun Laws:
All hand gun owners in Maryland must take a safety training course.
Some individuals are allowed to carry concealed weapons.
Also see the NRA's report on Md gun laws at:

Read about life in greater Baltimore area at the SunSpot (Baltimore
Sun newspaper site):

Milwaukee, Madison, LaCrosse, WI: 

"The Journal Times Newspaper for Milwaukee/ Racine County," at: 

In the news these days: The Wisconsin Legislature is currently
considering legislation that would ban any legal recognition of
same-sex partners. See these news stories from August 22 & 23, 2003,


The Appleton Post-Crescent:

The Advocate:

If the pending legislation hasn't turned you against moving to WI,
here's some information:

Gun Laws:
WI municipalities can't pass anti-gun laws stronger  than state
statites, according to the Brady Campaign:
You don't need a permit to carry a handgun, and WI police have some
discretion in issuing permits to carry concealed weapons.


Gay Community:

"Out In Milwaukee: e-zine:

"The Milwaukee LGBT Center':

"" community events and teams:

Milwaukee has a gay & lesbian alliance that's creating a community
garden in the predominantly gay neighborhood, Bay View. See this
August 21, 2003 article in the Bay Viewer newspaper:

Milwaukee is on Lake Michigan's shore. Here's an August 12, 2003
article from the Green Bay Press-Gazette about possible harbor

Milwaukee Colleges include:

The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, which includes UW-Milwaukee
College of Engineering

Cardinal Stritch University

Carroll College

Wisconsin Lutheran College:

Milwaukee Public Libraries:

Technology Hub:

According to this August 23, 2003 article in the Journal Sentinel "If
GE Medical Picks State, We All Win," by John Torinus:

GE is considering building its Medical IT division in Milwaukee. The
article states, "The business is a perfect fit for Wisconsin, quickly
becoming a hub of bioinformatics and medical informatics. It is also
one of the biggest prizes on the economic development scene in the

Rural and suburban areas near Milwaukee: 

Here's a list of the twenty best small towns, as determined by
Milwaukee Magazine in its July 2002 issue:

Search for Web sites for some of those towns to see more photos and
get more details.

MetroMilwaukee has a 1998 study that details the low cost of living in
Milwaukee. This link also provides links to housing costs in Milwaukee
and surrounding towns: 

Visit Racine County, which includes Milwaukee, at:
You'll see many towns located along Lake Michigan. 


At America's Most Referred Real Estate Agents' site, see this link:
which details cost of living rates, crime rates, and environmental

"CNN/Money" details Madison at its "Best Places to Live" site:  

ePodunk finds a lot to like about Madison, calling it a "hip college
town (and state capital) in the midst of farm country." See:

The Treasure Inn B& B of Madison has a terrific page about the greater
Madison area:
with clickable links for Devil's Lake State Park and the National
Scenic Ice Age Trail

Devil's Lake Park:

Sauk County, located about 30 miles north of Madison, appears to be a
fairly rural, and certainly beautiful, area:
will lead you on a tour of several towns including Baraboo and Lake

Here's a nice article about eagle watching along the Wisconsin River,
in Sauk County:

Madison's GLBT community:

"Out In Madison" e-zine:
lists GLBT sports teams.

Also see "Gay Universe Madison," at:

"GLBT Directory":

Due to assaults on some gay students, a counselor for gay students was
appointed at a Madison's high school, but some parents objected to
that appointment:

Here's a Capital Times article about a gay history class taught at one
Madison high school:

Here's a 1998 "Data Lounge"article about an anti-gay backlash that
The article notes that Madison prides itself on being a tolerant,
open-minded community.

Madison colleges:
The University of WI at Madison:

Madison Area Technical College lists local newspapers with clickable
links here:
You may also search there for specific articles.

The Madison Public Library:

LaCrosse, WI:

See the La Crosse Tribune:

For general information on La Crosse, see these official La Crosse
sites :

"Wisconsin Gayscape" offers info and advice for gays in Wisconsin at:
Scroll down to La Crosse and click. That will take you to "Pride Along
The Mississippi":

La Crosse is on the banks of the Mississippi, and "Huck's
Houseboats"site will link you to "river towns" (see menu at left):

You might want to take a weekend trip to St. Croix Falls. There's a
very informative site about towns along the St. Croix at:

Cost of Living:

La Crosse colleges:

Viterboro University:
and see this link to its library:

University of Wisconsin -- La Crosse:

Western Wisconsin Technical College:

La Crosse Public Library:

Here's a list of academic libraries in WI, compiled by Libweb:


Ohio Gun Laws:
According to the NRA,  permits aren't needed for hand guns in Ohio,
but you can't carry a concealed weapon:
According to that site, the Columbus ordinance reads: "The Columbus
ordinance prohibits possession of a semi-automatic: centerfire rifle
or carbine that accepts a detachable magazine with a capacity of 20
rounds or more; shotgun with a magazine capacity of more than 6
rounds; handgun that is either a modification of a rifle described
above, or a modification of an automatic firearm, or was originally
designed to accept a detachable magazine with a capacity of more than
20 rounds. Exempt are firearms that use .22 caliber rimfire ammunition
with a detachable magazine with a capacity of 20 rounds or less. . .

See this article, the Cleveland Quarterly's "Defenses Against Sprawl"
(Winter 2001 issue), pertaining to many small Ohio towns:

Columbus Community:

See "Greater Columbus SuperSite Community Guide"
(At left, see extensive menu, including a link for housing costs, and
links to numerous towns around Columbus.)

Organizations for Gays & Lesbians (these links contain links to
various social organizations too):
Stonewall Columbus:

Act Out (GLBT) Theatre:'s page on GLBT news and events in Columbus:

As my colleague Missy-ga noted, our colleague Digsalot-ga, recently
provided some excellent info on the gay community in Columbus to
another client. See his answer at:

Columbus is home to Ohio State: 

Franklin University:

Capital University:

Ohio Wesleyan University (near Columbus):

The American School of Technology:

The Columbus Metropolitan Library is very impressive:

Unless my atlas is missing something, Columbus isn't near a major
waterway. The closest would be Buckeye Lake. See this site setup by
the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources:

Rural/ Suburban areas near Columbus:
Franklin County:
(At left, click on "Land.")

Pickaway County, Ohio:
U.S. Census:

And re-check the Columbus SuperSite guide I cited for you earlier.

See "Welcome To Toledo":
and click on "Real Estate" on menu at left, for housing prices. You
can also read about community events at this site.

Get a good overview of Toledo's cultural life at "Talk of The Town"at:

Toledo may be a fairly small city, but it has an excellent newspaper,
The Toledo Blade:

and an art museum:

Gay Community:

Sing Out Toledo:

There's a LGBT Metropolitan Community Church in Toledo:

I really wasn't able to find much info about Toledo's gay community.
Missy-ga has kindly offered to post a comment about that, and it sure
looks like we'll need her help on this. For instance, at:
I found mention of two Toledo-based gay rights organizations: Personal
Rights Organization of Toledo (OH) and Pro-Toledo (OH), but I couldn't
find links for them.

Toledo is right along Lake Erie, which is truly beautiful. (I've been
to Lake Erie, heading in from Buffalo.) You'll swear you're looking at
an ocean. I must concede Lake Erie can get kind of nasty during
winter, though -- those "lake effect snows" (brrrr) -- but it's a
great place for boating enthusiasts. You'll also enjoy taking long
walks along the shore.

Tour the lighthouses of Lake Erie:
(Scroll down for detailed information.) 

Tour the University of Toledo's Lake Erie Center, dedicated to
environmental research: 

Take a 15-mile, 60-minute train trip on the tracks of the Toledo, Lake
Erie & Western Railway:

There's lots to do at the lake, including taking the "Great Lakes
Circle Tour":
(At left, see a menu with links for info on boating and canoeing on
the lake.)
Learn about towns around Toledo:

Lucas County:,_Ohio
(At bottom of the page see links to individual towns.)

Ottawa County (much of it borders the lake):

Toledo's Public Library:

The University of Toledo:

Re: Toledo gun ordinances, see "Ohioans For Concealed Carry":

Cost of Living, see the U.S. Census profile of Toledo at:


According to the NRA, at
"The Cleveland ordinance prohibits possession of a semi-automatic:
centerfire rifle or carbine that accepts a detachable magazine with a
capacity of 20 rounds or more; shotgun with a magazine capacity of
more than 6 rounds; handgun that is either a modification of a rifle
described above, or a modification of an automatic firearm, or was
originally designed to accept a detachable magazine with a capacity of
more than 20 rounds. Exempt are firearms that use .22 caliber rimfire
ammunition with a detachable magazine with a capacity of 30 rounds or


The Cleveland Plain Dealer:
type "gay" or "lesbian" into the search engine for quite a few news
stories with gay themes.

Gay Community:

The Gay People's Chronicle newspaper:

The Lesbian Gay Community of Greater Cleveland:

Cleveland Pride:

Lutherans Concerned/ Cleveland:

Waterfront Recreation:

Read about the Cleveland's Lakefront State Park at the Ohio Dept. of
Natural Resources:
(Scroll down for information on the various beaches that comprise the

If you love to swim, you can audition for Lake Erie Silver Dolphins
swim team:

Here's a comprehensive list of the many attractions at Lake Erie,
courtesy of the Lake Erie Circle Tour:

The Cleveland Public Library has a sterling reputation. See why:


Cleveland State University:

Cleveland-Marshall College of Law:

Cleveland College of Art & Design:

Cost of Living in Cleveland, according to the U.S. Census Bureau:

Learn about Cuyahoga County at Wikipedia:,_Ohio

I couldn't find photos there, so here are some towns in Cuyahoga
County, which includes Cleveland, that are worth checking out because
. . . I know people who lived there and they think they're great towns



Lorain County Visitors Bureau:
will let you click on a link for "101 Things To Do in Lorain County."

See photos of Lorain County:

Geauga County appears to have quite a few All-American small towns.
See photos of the county at:

Find more photos of Ohio at the "Western Reserve Photo Index," at:

It's Ohio's Bicentennial! Check out the state's official site:
and type in Lucas County, Ottawa County, Franklin County, etc., or
city names, to see photos of the various areas that interest you.

The Twin Cities:

Cost of Living:
The Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal reported in a October 11,
2001 article, "Lack of affordable housing costs Twin Cities dearly":

Moving To Minneapolis breaks down housing costs in the Twin Cities, by

The U.S. Dept. of Labor's Price Index for the Twin Cities:

Gun laws:
Minnesota, like Wisconsin, is a very liberal state that tends to favor
gun control.

According to the NRA:
Minnesotans need a permit to purchase and carry handguns.

Good overview: see the University of Minnesota's "Life in the Twin
(At the bottom, see links on what to do and where to go.) 


The Your Twin Cities Everything Guide, will link you to the Pioneer
Press and Sun newspapers:

The Star Tribune:

City Pages News & Arts
features "City Gritty" reports on the best the Twin Cities has to
offer, including nightlife and restaurants.

Gay Community:

See this June 23, 2003 Star Tribune article, "Gay Sway: Twin Cities
Creative Class May Boost Economy" about how the GLBT community is
revitalizing what had a dilapidated warehouse district, at:

Twin Cities' GLBT community:
has links to social groups:
including the "Out To Brunch Club," the "Rainbow Cloggers," and the
"Spirit International Travel Club."

See more GLBT organizations at Out Front:

"Helpful Web Resources for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area":

Digital City lists these "gay-friendly" places:

The Mississippi is about it, but hey, that's enough. The river divides
the two cities and the waterfront features lots of entertainment. The
Center For Global Education has a page on the Twin Cities waterfront
and links you to another guide, "Return to the River Days":
Suburban/ Rural Areas within easy driving distance of Twin Cities:

Ramsey County: 

Hennepin County:
See the Star Tribune's Census data for the county at:

Minneapolis Public Library:

Minneapolis colleges:

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities:
and its
Institute of Technology:

Minneapolis College of Art and Design:
St. Paul Public Library:

St. Paul Colleges:


University of St. Thomas:

Macalester College:

St. Louis, Mo:

Mo gun laws:
According to the NRA:
You need a permit to buy a handgun, but not to carry it. However, it
is illegal to conceal a handgun.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

The Riverfront Times:

"The St. Louis Gay Guide Online":

The Common Space: "Gay St. Louis" by Tony Bossaller, April 2002:

Gay St. Louis community news and bulletin board:

Cost Of Living:

According to the January 2003 issue of St. Louis Commerce Magazine,
"St. Louis has seventh lowest cost of living among the top 20
metropolitan areas.":

St. Louis Public Library:

Libweb's listing of academic libraries in MO:

There are numerous colleges in St. Louis, including:

St. Louis University:

St. Louis University's Parks College of Engineering and Aviation:

Maryville University:

Fontbonne University:

Once again, the Mississippi!

See "Riverfront Attractions":

And you can hike or bike the St. Louis Riverfront Trail:  

Rural/ Suburban areas near St. Louis:

"Wildwood, Ballwin and West St. Louis County real estate and homes for
sale in Missouri":

St. Charles County, MO: 

St.. Louis Front Page, "St. Charles News: Festival of the Little
Hills" (August 18, 2003): 

St. Charles Real Estate:
(There are great links toward the bottom of the page. You have to
register here to view homes.)

Jefferson County's official site:

Curtis Team Realtors' site at:
has photos and prices of homes in St. Louis and Jefferson counties.

New Orleans:
According to the NRA:
You don't need a permit to buy a handgun in LA, but you do need a
permit to carry the gun. You also need a permit to carry a concealed

Cost of Living:
The law firm of Liskow & Lewis has some good links about living in New
Orleans, including cost:

CNN/Money evaluates New Orleans at its "Best Places To Live" site:

The Times-Picayune:

Gay Community:

New Orleans is famed as an anything-goes party town, and it appears to
be very tolerant of diversity:

The Lesbian and Gay Community Center:

New Orleans gay theatre scene:

Gay New Orleans lists numerous events and hang-outs:
(See menu of links at left.)

Libweb lists academic libraries in LA:
including several in New Orleans.

New Orleans colleges:


Xavier University

Loyola University:

University of New Orleans:


Lake Ponchartrain and the Gulf of Mexico.

See The Jefferson Convention & Visitors Bureaus' "New Orleans

Also see the comprehensive site "Wildernet -- Louisiania: Your Guide
To Outdoor Recreation":

Rural/ Suburban Areas Within Easy Driving Distance (Bear in mind, LA
doesn't have counties, it has parishes):

"St. Charles Parish Community Web site": 

"St. John The Baptist's Parish Official" site:

Lafourche Parish:

"Louisiana Real Estate Agents":
provided great links to agencies that have Web sites featuring photos
of homes for sale.

Traverse City, MI:

According to the NRA:
You need permits to purchase and carry handguns. It's illegal to
conceal handguns "on or about one's person or concealed or openly in a
vehicle without a license to carry a concealed pistol."


Traverse City Record-Eagle:

I tried searching the archives for gay, lesbian, but got very few
matches. Here's one result from August 10, 2003, "Episcopal bishop is
taken in stride":

And this one, from January 23, 2003, "King's message of love hailed":
"Traverse City mayor Margaret Dodd said work still needs to be done to
end prejudice and discrimination. Prejudice against one group
translates to prejudice against all minorities, whether they are
homosexuals, blacks, Arabs or other groups, she said. 'When one Native
American is disparaged, it impacts Arab Americans. When one gay
student is afraid to speak out, it affects blacks,' Dodd said."

GLBT Resources:

Friends North:

Gay Connections:

There's an anti-gay group, the Grand Traverse Area Safe Schools


Traverse City is right near Lake Michigan and is along the shore of
Grand Traverse Bay.

See, a comprehensive resource on Leelanau County, which
neighbors Grand Traverse County:
You'll find links to realtors, and outdoor recreation.


And Traverse Magazine:
which features articles about terrific day trips in the region.   

Traverse City library:

Traverse City colleges:

Northwestern Michigan College:

Davenport University:

Central Michigan's College of Extended Learning:

Cost of Living/ Demographics:

In 2001, The Record-Eagle reported some details on Traverse City from
the 2000 Census:

"Area Connect" also has some census info:

Wikipedia reports that as of 2002 " The median income for a household
in the city is $37,330, and the median income for a family is

Missoula, MT:

See the town's official Web site at:
There are links to recreation and neighborhoods.

See C and C Real Estate's "listings" page:
for photos of homes for sale

Try Missoula Real Estate's "listings" page:
(Scroll down to houses.)

Cost of Living/ Demographics:

"City Rating": Missoula

See CNN/Money. com's report on Missoula at:


The Missoulian Online:

OutSpoken, a gay magazine, located in Missoula: 

Gay Community:

Western Montana Gay & Lesbian Community Center:

Montana GLBT Organizations:
(Scroll down to Missoula).  

Montana is pretty much land-locked. Flathead Lake looks to be about
50-60 miles north of Missoula.

Here are some pictures of Flathead at,_mt.htm

Here's a beautiful photo of the lake, taken by Pete Yamagata:

Flathead is also near the National Bison Range:

There are many cabin rentals available. Here's one from VRBO (they
allow pets):

Missoula Public Library:


University of Montana at Missoula:

College of Technology:

The University of Montana Libraries:

Phoenix, AZ:

The city's homepage:


AZCentral, the Arizona Republic Online

Gay Community:

See a very long list of  GLBT organizations at AZ 


Being a desert, Arizona doesn't have much in the way of lakes and
rivers! There's the Theodore Roosevelt Dam and Roosevelt Lake, which
are east of  Phoenix.

The Phoenix Area Office's "THEODORE ROOSEVELT DAM FACT SHEET" can be
viewed at:

Read about the man-made Roosevelt Lake at Arizona Guide: 
(You'll see that campsites are frequently flooded.) 

It's 150 miles from Phoenix to the border town of Lukeville, AZ, and
from Lukeville, my guess is it's about another hour to the Gulf of
California. So, that's not very convenient for day trips.

Cost of Living/ Demographics's "Guide To Phoenix" has a report from the 2000 Census,
which shows Phoenix's median income is slightly lower than the
national average:'s Phoenix Guide also has a nifty roundup of twenty towns in
the greater Phoenix area:

At Phoenix Real Estate:
Click "Find A Home," then just keep following the links to areas that
interest you, and you can view houses for sale. You can also search
for apartments here.

Phoenix Public Library:

Phoenix Colleges:

University of Phoenix:

Elon University:

Arizona State University:

According to the NRA:
Under AZ law, you need a permit to carry but not to purchase. "No
person shall carry a firearm "concealed on his person." This does not
apply to a person in his dwelling, business premises or on real
property owned or leased by that person. A handgun carried in a belt
holster which is wholly or partially visible or carried in luggage is
not considered carrying concealed."

Bloomington, IN:

A delightful way to learn about Bloomington is to rent the 1979
classic film "Breaking Away," which is set in, and was filmed entirely
in, Bloomington, IN. You'll see that Bloomington is a charming,
All-American town. You'll see that the town has a "Mayberry" feel to
it. It isn't a big, overwhelming city.

Here's Bloomington's official Web site:


The Herald-Times 
Gay Community:

"The Bloomington Indiana GLBT & Allies Community":
lists numerous organizations, including an investment group, and
lesbian potluck suppers called "pitch-ins," and a lesbian baseball
team. At bottom of the page see "Sparks," which "provides social and
educational opportunities for Bloomington's lesbian community . . . ."
It also sponsors a bowling team.

Also see "Indiana Gay and Lesbian Resources":

Indiana University (IU) and its eight campuses dominate life in
This is an extremely diversified and respected university, so take
your time exploring this site.

Cost of Living:

According to Wikipedia:,_Indiana
Bloomington's median income is  "$25,377, and the median income for a
family is $50,054."

IU's chemistry department notes that Rand McNally places Bloomington
in its top eight places to live:

provides comprehensive links to info on living in Bloomington.

Realtor Jeanne Walters's site offers a great overview of homes for
sale in the greater Bloomington area:


Just southeast of Bloomington is Lake Monroe and the Paynetown State
Recreation area. See  the Fishin' Shedd's "How To Find Us" at:

Also see the Indiana government's map of Paynetown:

Indiana Gun Laws:
According to the NRA:
You don't need a permit to buy a handgun, you do need a permit to
carry one.

Research Triangle Park, which includes the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel
Hill, NC, area:

is a huge site that provides a great, highly detailed overview of the
area.Click "geographic communities" to the left on that page and
you'll get links to a wealth of information about towns in Durham
County, and Census information. It's a comprehensive, easy-to-navigate
site. Be sure to scroll all the way down where you'll find links to
more towns, neighborhoods, and Census data. You'll even find clicks
for viewing houses that are for sale.

Also see Serenex's "Living in the Research Triangle":

Cost of living:
According to Wikipedia:,_North_Carolina
"The median income for a household in the city is $41,160, and the
median income for a family is $51,162."

This March 12, 2000 Seattle Times article "Prices here may seem
amazing but elsewhere, they're astonishing":
notes that " Seattle is also less affordable than several other
high-tech meccas. Among them . . . . The Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area
called Research Triangle. Its median house price of $165,000 is
affordable to 66 percent of households."


The News-Observer serves the "Triangle," greater Durham area:

As does the Herald-Sun:

Gay Community:

There's a plethora of resources and activities for the GLBT community
of the Triangle area:

Triangle Community Works:

"Gayscape, Durham":

"The Front Page" lists social/cultural groups for gays & lesbians,
across NC:

This is interior North Carolina, so it's not close to the coast. But
there is a B. Everett Jordan Lake, south of Chapel Hill, Durham, and
Raleigh. See
Wildernet's page about the lake and dam, at: 

"Raleigh Online" has a full list of the many universities in the
Triangle region, including Duke, with clickable links:

NC gun laws:
According to the NRA:
you need a permit to purchase, carry, and conceal a handgun. 

Search Strings:
city or town name + lesbian community 
                    gay acceptance  
                    rural suburban 
                    waterways waterfront lake river
                    towns commuting distance 
                    handgun laws
                    property values
                    buying a house, houses for sale
                    median income/ median home price
                    academic library colleges     
                    public library
                    real estate
I hope my research helps you and your partner make a decision. I wish
you both much happiness in your new home . . . wherever it turns out
to be!

ronni-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $25.00
Nancy Lynn,

Thank you for such an exhaustive exploration of the areas I mentioned.
I will need to spend some time going through the various links and
making comparisons. Your work was very thorough and I appreciate it
very much. And, thank you for the good wishes.

Take care,

Subject: Re: Lesbians Seeking Info on Nice Communities to Live In
From: pafalafa-ga on 23 Aug 2003 19:25 PDT
I'm not knowledgable enough to give you an in-depth answer to your
question, but it sure sounds like you ought to at least look into
Rehobeth Beach in Delaware.  I know it as a summer community, when its
really hopping (but not in a madhouse sort of way), but I understand
it's pretty nice year round.

Take a look here for a bit of context:

Subject: Re: Lesbians Seeking Info on Nice Communities to Live In
From: missy-ga on 23 Aug 2003 21:35 PDT
I'm a Toledo native and lifelong resident myself, and know that we
have a very active (and apparently quite happy) gay and lesbian
community here.  Handgun ownership is permitted (after the requisite
background checks and waiting periods, of course), concealed carry is
a no-no.  We're nicely situated such that you can live rurally if
that's your fancy (out in Sylvania or up over the line in Temperance,
MI) and still be close to everything.

I'm not deeply familiar with the gay and lesbian community here, but
I'll be happy to see what I can find out for you a bit later, when
I've got more than a few moments to spare.  Comments will be along in
the next day or two!

As to your interest in Columbus, Digsie presented a terrific answer
here that may be of interest to you:

Subject: Re: Lesbians Seeking Info on Nice Communities to Live In
From: nellie_bly-ga on 24 Aug 2003 08:50 PDT
Rehoboth is an excellent suggestion.
A Google search on "gay rehoboth" will yield many links for you to explore.

I'd also strongly suggest reconsidering PA, as in Philadelphia and Chester County.
Those two areas meet all of your requirements.

Nellie Bly
Subject: Re: Lesbians Seeking Info on Nice Communities to Live In
From: pinkfreud-ga on 24 Aug 2003 09:23 PDT
This deals mostly about communities outside the US, but you might find
some useful info here:
Subject: Re: Lesbians Seeking Info on Nice Communities to Live In
From: nancylynn-ga on 28 Aug 2003 17:48 PDT

I'm glad you found my research so helpful. I have moved several times
myself --pre-Internet era! -- and it can be very overwhelming.
Internet resources are great for giving you a feel for any given

Many of the towns you're considering certainly sound like great places
to live. I'm sure you'll be very pleased with your final selection.

Thank you for the very generous tip.

Subject: Re: Lesbians Seeking Info on Nice Communities to Live In
From: donyana-ga on 06 May 2004 06:13 PDT
Speaking as a bisexual young adult who grew up in both Washington DC
and Ocean City, MD (about 20 minutes south of Rehoboth), I can give
you a couple pointers to the plus and minuses of that particular area.

First Baltimore:

~ Great night life and social opportunities, tons of clubs, concerts,
restaurants and trendy bookstores
~ Beautiful harbor scenery/ nice wooded communities outside the city
~ Largely progressive and open-minded mentality within the city

~ As part of the DC metro area, the cost of living is VERY expensive.
Expect to pay at least 1/4 mill for a nice single family home on a
quarter acre in a safe neighborhood; if you want anything that
incorporates multiple acres you can end up paying at least a half
million. Also, your homeowners/car/theft insurance will undoubtably
increase due to the higher levels of traffic and crime in the area.
~ Inside the city I would very seriously discourage keeping outdoor
cats, as the city is, quite literally, a city, complete with busy
streets and wall-to-wall high-rises. City residents are best to keep
indoor pets.
~ If you decide to live in a bordering community, research carefully
before choosing one. The residential areas of west Maryland can vary
vastly, and while some of them are very nice (for a price), there are
the unsavory ones, among them the high crime areas (avoid Silver
Spring), the snooty (Potomac), and the ultra-conservative (various

On to Rehoboth...

~ Rehoboth is most definitely a 'gay friendly' community. The vast
majority of the population is split between the homosexual and the
elderly retired. I remember an article I read several years ago that
interviewed residents of Rehoboth; the mentality among the straight
senior populace seemed to be that of amused affection. Former farmers
from conservative rural areas maintain an almost ebony/ivory
relationship with the younger homosexuals.
~ Very pet-friendly area. My dogs and I participated one year in the
Halloween Pet Costume Contest & Parade. We arrived too late for
contest, but we marched in the parade, which traveled along the
boardwalk overlooking the gorgeous beach. I remember as a young
teenager, largely in the closet with the exception of my parents,
being so tickled to look around and see the straight parent/2 child
families interacting so comfortably with the w/w couples and the Bears
walking hand-in-hand in shorts, white muscle shirts and matching
~ Being a vacation community, you can be sure it's fun, with plenty of
fun restaurants and beautiful scenery.

~ Being a vacation community, it can be a little dead in the winter,
and you may find that some of your favorite places close up for 7
months out of the year. That's not to say it's deserted; there's
always grocery and department stores open during business hours, and
of course the beach is always there. It's just that the 'night life'
sorta disappears when the tourists leave.
~ The cost of living can be a little expensive, as most housing is
considered a rental opportunity. With some searching you can find some
affordable 'fixer-uppers', but don't expect a huge property in perfect
condition for next to nothing.
~ The amount of free range allowed pets will depend vastly on where
you live. Dogs aren't allowed on the beach during tourist season, and
while I don't know the laws reguarding cats, the fact that they were
comparatively scarce to be found leads me to believe that outdoor cats
may not be allowed. You'll want to look into that.
~ While the weather is largly gorgeous, during the winter you can get
some winds off the water that are incredibly cold and create a heavy
fog. I myself find it pretty and atmospheric, but someone who is not a
'cold weather' person might want to go south for the winter.

Of the two, I'd recommend Rehoboth. It's fun, it's highly accepting of
gay people, and it's really a beautiful area. Also, of the two, you're
likely to spend less on cost of living in Rehoboth.

One thing to consider, however; in the Maryland/Delaware shore area,
it's very popular to live in Maryland and shop in Delaware. That's
because Deleware has no sales tax on merchandise. They accomplish this
by having higher state taxes. The difference is not likely to add up
to much, and the difference will probably be made up simply by the
absence of the DC-association that makes all Maryland property seem
'trendy' and therefor more expensive.

Also something that appeals to a person like me: a huge, 2-mile long
tax-free outlet shopping mall! Every store you can imagine is on
outlet there, including a QVC outlet, where leftovers from the TV
channel are sold at a huge discount. It's there that I got my
Birkenstocks, originally $130 dollars, for $25. Check out more here:

One last thing before I go; I currently live in Birmingham, AL, a move
I was very much dreading, but which has actually turned out to be very
good. The city is very advanced for the state; museums, art, music,
etc. The population is suprisingly gay-friendly, including several gay
clubs and a LGBSQ softball team.

Particularly nice is the large, expansive areas, rolling hills with
plenty of trees, and the incredibly affordable cost of living. You
could buy a large house on several acres for all your pets to roam
free for under 100k, which is unheard of anywhere in the DC metro
area, including Rehoboth. I don't know if I'd call it a 'lesbian'
community, but I've found it to be suprisingly open minded and
cultured, and the cost of living is unheard of.

Hope this all helps!

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy